Sunday, March 9, 2014

Preserve Your Memories

We stepped into King's College Chapel this morning and left the half-marathon cheers outside.  We were escorted to seats with the small congregation facing one another on the sides of the aisle leading up to the alter.  The boys' choir walked in procession to their seats a bit further from the alter, closer to the organ, facing one another, dressed in red and white robes, some very young, some soon to graduate from the position.  The procession walked between us, the minister, the cross, the candles.  The stained glass light shifted over the course of the hour, the blues moving down the wall as the sun rose higher, the high-vaulted ceiling echoing the pure chants, the Kyrie, the Angus Dei, all parts of the mass and sermon.  The candles gave their gentle light and the time passed in peace, unrushed even by the jittery legs of the adolescent boys who had nevertheless been immaculately well-trained and seemed to know the priviledge of being a part of such an esteemed choir.

We sat and listened to the organist finish Bach's Prelude and Fugue in b minor BWV 544, before rising and leaving.  What is it like to have music so closely connected to such an act of spiritual devotion?  To create it only as an act for God, as Bach always did?  

There was not a cloud in the sky in Cambridge today.  We got a scone and rhubarb brazil nut cake before heading to a very popular boat rental, far understaffed for the miraculous weather of this Sunday afternoon.  Punting is one of the most popular pastimes in Cambridge and everyone was hiring one with their friends, boarding with bottles of champaign and potato crisps.  We got a double kayak and headed upstream through Grantchester meadows which were filled with people picnicking, taking in the sun, holding one another, playing with their children, walking with their dogs, awkwardly operating punts.  

As the sun set, we walked in to town for dinner.  Andrew pointed out Newton's apple tree and his office at Trinity College.  He was a person and walked these streets.  

The swans in the river were going to sleep during the walk home, the ducks were quiet and the people of the afternoon had headed to the pubs and formal dinners of their colleges.  The sky was clear and studded with stars and a half-moon.

A day is so full of experiences.  

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